KABUL, Afghanistan — Afghan officers issued an arrest warrant on Sunday for the highly effective head of the nation’s soccer federation, Keramuddin Keram, on prison fees accusing him of sexually abusing feminine soccer gamers, a day after FIFA barred him from the game for all times.
Mr. Keram can be the world’s most senior soccer official to be criminally charged with abusing feminine gamers. However it was not instantly clear if the Afghan police would be capable of arrest Mr. Keram, a former warlord with many armed followers who beforehand refused to depart workplace although the federal government had suspended him.
Nasrat Rahimi, spokesman for the Ministry of the Inside, stated Mr. Karim can be arrested quickly. “We are going to take motion towards him,” Mr. Rahimi stated.
Mr. Keram is only one of many officers worldwide dealing with accusations of sexual harassment and rape after a collection of scandals broke into the open whereas the Ladies’s World Cup is underway in France. Court docket proceedings have been underway towards three different Afghan soccer officers on sexual abuse fees, however they’re cooperating and haven’t been arrested, in keeping with Jamshid Rasooli, spokesman for the legal professional basic’s workplace.
And officers from 5 international locations on 4 continents have been accused of abusing feminine gamers of their cost; among the many accused is Ahmad Ahmad, a vice chairman of FIFA, the scandal-plagued governing body of world soccer. Mr. Ahmad has denied all charges.
A former Afghan women’s soccer player, who recently fled overseas, was critical of FIFA for not penalizing other Afghan federation officials. She said the system was “corrupt” and added that if FIFA wanted to bring justice, “it should punish all of them.” The woman spoke on condition of anonymity because she was fearful for the safety of family members still living in Afghanistan.
After more than a year of investigating abuse charges against Mr. Keram, made privately and publicly by numerous Afghan players, FIFA on Saturday announced a lifetime ban against Mr. Keram for having “abused his position and sexually abused various female players, in violation of the FIFA Code of Ethics.”
FIFA also fined Mr. Keram one million Swiss francs, about $1 million. The organization is unlikely to have any means of collecting such a fine from Mr. Keram in war-torn Afghanistan.
Mr. Rasooli said the timing of the Afghan arrest warrant had nothing to do with FIFA’s action the day before.
The charges are an ugly litany of alleged abuse: Players accused him of trapping them in a locked inner office, where the door could be opened only with his fingerprint, and of raping and sexually abusing them there.
Women who resisted or complained were branded as lesbians, a crime in Afghanistan, and dismissed from the national team, several players said. Some of the women said that when the charges became public, he threatened them and their families with violence if they continued their complaints. Some fled the country. The attorney general’s investigation was stalled for months as investigators struggled to get visas to interview witnesses who had left for Europe.
President Ashraf Ghani of Afghanistan has vowed to see justice done in the case. But Mr. Keram has powerful allies among opposition figures in Mr. Ghani’s shaky coalition government. The soccer chief is a member of the Islamic Group, the dominant party among Mr. Ghani’s political opponents. A previous governor of Panjshir Province, Mr. Keram has a long history as a jihadi warlord but no known sports experience before his involvement with the soccer federation.
Mr. Rasooli, the spokesman for the Afghan attorney general’s office, said that the attorney general had repeatedly summoned Mr. Keram to give evidence to investigators but that Mr. Keram had refused, leading to Sunday’s warrant. Mr. Rasooli depicted the move as the culmination of the government’s continuing investigation of the matter.
Other claims of abuse or inappropriate conduct have emerged in Canada, Colombia, Ecuador and Gabon. Mr. Ahmad, one of many vice presidents of FIFA, faces accusations of sexual harassment from a number of girls who labored with him in his function as the top of African soccer’s governing physique. Mr. Ahmad says the allegations are lies unfold by disgruntled former staff.